New beginnings are full of promise and expectation and, well, new stuff. It’s a grand thing. And, it can be a very hard thing.
I am a person of habit. The truth is that we all are. The routine, the plans, our habits, shape us into who we are. So, it’s a bit of high hurdle for me when everything is new. We have been asking a lot of questions in our family: Where’s the grocery store? Who is their teacher? We take our trash to a what…transfer station, you said?! Everything is new and, as I am finding out, so am I.
It’s an interesting thing that in the midst of new beginnings, we are beginning again. What is really going on is that I’m becoming something and someone new during this time. It’s full of possibility. Maybe you sense it too. Perhaps, you are, this very moment, filled with a sense of gratitude for the new chapter here at the Parish of the Epiphany. Maybe, right now you are relishing in the possibility of new beginnings in your self, your work, your family, a relationship, or your faith and trust in God. If you find yourself thankful for the new—then I’d encourage you to pay attention to who you are becoming in this moment and roll it around in the palm of your heart a bit. Notice it and give thanks to God.
But newness is not always sunshine and rainbows. New beginnings are not always easy or comfortable. So, there is always a bit trepidation, if not outright fear when it comes to beginning again. We might say things like: What do I do? Are people staring at me? I won’t know anyone! Do they like me? Will I be welcomed? What if I mess up? This is not what I expected!
If you are feeling a weight of fear or sadness or unease, you too should know this truth that we proclaim in our prayers: "that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new”. This happens, we say, not because of ourselves or our wisdom or our awesomeness, but because of God’s presence in and among us. It is the promise we receive in Christ that in the good and in the less good, God is with us.
On Good Friday we pray this prayer, that I hope might be your prayer today and everyday—in the good and the not so great moments of life. It is a prayer of hope and newness and a prayer of recognition that in it all and through it all, we trust in and are loved by a God who is with us, always:
O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquillity the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.